Identifying Student's Problems

At times, a student does not tell you directly that there is a problem, but you still may observe changes in them that indicate that something might be wrong.  Here are some signs to look out for:

  • Academic performance: constant underperformance, change (decline) in performance, missing classes
  • Behaviour: does the student appear stressed out or under pressure, tense, sad, aggressive, withdrawn? 
  • Appearance: significant weight gain or weight loss, over tired, unkempt?

For more detailed information about how to identify students' problems, click here.

What to do when you suspect that there may be a problem:

  • Try to speak to the student. Take your time and talk in private to them. Express openly that you are concerned about the student. To find out more about how to support a student in distress, click here
  • If the student then tells you what is wrong, listen to them, decide whether you can help them, e.g. by supporting them in their academic work, and if not, refer them on to the DIT counselling service, the medical centre, or any other appropriate student support services
  • If the student does not tell you what is wrong and you are still concerned, you can      
    • talk to other staff to find out whether they have noticed a
      problem too. Perhaps the student would be willing to talk to them?
    • liaise with the DIT counselling service, the medical service or
      other student support services. If they are already in contact
      with the student, it may be helpful to be made aware of any problem
      you have observed.

If the student does not accept any help, and you have serious concerns about their welfare, find out how to take action if a student is at risk.

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